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THE ESSENTIAL JOURNEY

Journey

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Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Finally a very good - if not perfect - compilation of the Steve Perry era Journey. I really donīt understand why those guys were so critizied over the years. I mean, I know, at least in part: they had a huge commercial success. I know that this is a mortal sin for most of the critics and to many people. also many of their songs were overplayed through the years. Still, upon hearing this CD, I canīt deny their incredible hability to craft beautiful, melodic and poignant songs. Besides, they were quite good as musicians themselves (Neil Schonīs guitar playing is both discreet and amazing).

So, if youīre looking for intricated, complex music skip this review. But if you, like me, likes to have something simpler, more relaxing stuff to hear once in a while - but still demand a high quality level on it, then The Essential Journey might be of intererest. Itīs fascinating how those songs never really dated a bit over the years. They were very well produced, written and performed, and I still consider Steve Perry to be one of the most emotional and best singers ever. The guy had a great vocal technique but it was the way he put his heart into the music that made him so outstanding.

Here you have no less than 32 songs: all their major hits (including all the previous Greatest Hits package tracks almost in the same order on the first CD), plus some fine album tunes and one song they recorded for the 1983 movie Two Of A Kind, Ask The Loonely. Even though the picture is not complete (Suzanne, a top 30 hits is inexplicably missing), this is a strong collection of AOR/pop with prog/fusion influences songs that survived very well the test of time. The soung quality is excellent and the booklet is good, with some nice pictures and covers of all albums recorded during the Steve Perry era. For the price I payed for it (a two CD set for the price of a single one), it was a great deal. Tracks like Chain Reaction, Message Of Love, Escape, among others, prove they were much more than you heard them on the radio. 3,5 stars. 3 stars for this site (it would be 5 for an AOR one). An extra half for personal reasons. Very good.

Report this review (#192669)
Posted Friday, December 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Bough this double-cd compilation for the price of one, some years ago, just to discover that Journey hadn't anything to offer to me than Wheel in the sky & Don't stop believin'. I'm not the greatest fan of AOR in this world, neither the poppy hard rock from the 80's. This compilation doesn't show any hint of Journey's so-called jozz-rock past, only tons of sacarine that maybe someone who have fond memories of the early 80's can love. Not me.

If you really need a Journey compilation try Greatest hits live. It's better than this one (what is far of being a great thing).

BTW: 1) from all these AORish band listed here the best one is Styx, the only one that had any pretention on arrangements and concept that resembles (by distance) prog rock. And it was a very good band, labels aside. 2) comparing with a band in the same vein, Journey is a far cry from Foreigner - at last its ballads are memorable. 3) Dont stop believin' is a great song. But all their talents (Journey's guys) was expended with it.

Report this review (#244693)
Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 | Review Permalink

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